March for Change

by heatherwhaley

Today was the March for Change in Hartford.  I’m so proud of my little town, who rallied three busloads of marchers, plus at least one other bus in another town (thanks Mom!).  We arrived in the morning in good spirits, and I have to say, I’m totally and completely exhausted.  Nancy Lefkowitz and Meg Staunton, the organizers of March for Change, did a beautiful job.  The air was full of positivity and love, and the promise of change, and there is real hope, at least from this Connecticut mom, that one day we will look back on the horrific events of 12/14 as the moment when we woke up and made the world the way it should be.

I painted these signs last night at about 11:00 with my daughter’s green paint.


Somehow in the crowd I found this pretty lady….


My mom, über community organizer, who just LAST NIGHT suffered the pain of a Happy Hour (just kidding, happy hour is totally awesome, she will be the first to tell you) to recruit more people for her bus to the March.


colinColin Goddard, survivor of the shooting at Virginia Tech was there.  He’s the one who had Anderson Cooper all a-flutter during his 360 Gun Debate.  Goddard spoke very powerfully, saying, “We must challenge any politician who thinks it’s easier to ask an elementary school teacher to stand up to a gunman with an AR-15 than it is to ask that politician to stand up to a gun lobbyist with a checkbook.”  Sandy Hook teacher Vicki Soto’s sister spoke as well.  She said, “Make a list in your mind of the five people who matter to you most in the world.  Now imagine giving me that list, and I scratch one out.”  I don’t have a photo of her because my mother and I were sobbing at that point.  I will not forget those words.


It was a record-breaking turnout at the capitol.  In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, and the lockdown at my kids’ schools the following Monday, I expressed doubts about my decision to move my family to Connecticut.  But this morning, two months after 12/14, I awoke and a snow had fallen overnight.  It was a sticky kind of snow that covered absolutely everything – every twig, every branch with downy fluff, and the crazy thing was birds were chirping.  It was the most beautiful morning I can remember.  The people I have met in the months since 12/14 are some of the smartest, most inspiring, and downright coolest I have ever had the privilege to call friends.  This is my home, and I couldn’t be more happy and proud.  Be assured this fight is not over. Not by a long shot. Even if it takes until after the next election, it will happen. Then we’ll go to your state. I see a fleet of green R.V.’s traveling to Texas for common sense gun laws.

Okay, maybe not Texas, but Pennsylvania, get ready.